Golden Prisn

Golden Prisn is a two-person exhibition from longtime partners Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker. This will be the San Francisco-based artists’ fourth showing with the gallery. Cliff and Scott have been important fixtures in the San Francisco arts scene for 25 years.

During the artists three decades as residents of San Francisco’s Mission District, they have witnessed significant change. For Golden Prisn, the artist's marry the word “prism” with the concept of the Gilded Cage or “Golden Jail.”

Describing a situation as paradoxically valuable and trapping, the Golden Jail limits the inhabitant, making any alternative to the current situation comparatively worse. The introduction of the Prism into the exhibition’s title promotes an uplifting opportunity to re-interpret the often-told tale of San Francisco’s gentrification through the unifying element of color. White light contains the full spectrum of colors, though only visible through a prism.

In the sense that color does not belong to anyone, Hengst and Hewicker draw inspiration from the ostentatious nature of the everyday world around them. They respond by making works that are largely made from humble materials, their work emphasizes a human touch. It revels in the beauty of the handmade and empathizes a solidarity with the downtrodden and discarded.

Hewicker adds, "In some ways we are stuck in an uncertain and unstable place, but it creates this urgency that propels us to make work while we still can."

Hengst's found cardboard paintings and text pieces and Hewicker's brightly saturated abstract paintings and prints, the artists will expand their work into sculptural installation, ceramics and a wall mural. In doing so, the artists seek to activate the gallery space into a charged and inviting color environment, beckoning a creative community to celebrate resilience despite constant waves of change endured by artists in San Francisco.

On Thursday, November 17th, Scott Hewicker invited local luminaries in the art and poetry scenes, including Kevin Killian, Linda Geary and Laurie Reid, for An Evening With The Color Organist—poetry readings and performance inspired by color, accompanied by a trio of electric organists led by Hewicker.

Scott Hewicker, Color Organist at Gallery 16

Saturday, December 10th from 8pm, Cliff Hengst performed as Bobby Coupon in Lounge Lessons: A Musical Journey of Life Reflections and Motivation Through Song—a lounge act meets motivational seminar of Hengst’s own creation, first debuting earlier this year in three consecutive sold-out shows at Machine Project in Los Angeles.

Cliff Hengst, Bobby Coupon at Gallery 16